Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stealth Health: Sneaking Fruits and Veggies into Your Kids' Favorite Foods

I'm not too proud to sneak fruits and veggies into my kids'  meals. They readily eat certain fruits, like strawberries and apples. Carrots are also an easy sell thanks to their dip-ability. And they think it's fun to pick mini tomatoes from our garden (I use the term "garden" loosely since it consists of only a single and lonely tomato plant). But I'm always looking for ways to counteract the way-too-often chicken nugget and French fry consumption. So here are some Stealth Health ideas I've discovered. Am I missing any good ones? Leave your "Stealth Health" strategies and products below in the Comments section! Also, check out an article I found on abut Undercover Veggies Undercover Veggies -

My Favorite Stealth Health Finds

Capri Sun Super V Juice Boxes: Flavored with other natural flavor. From concentrate. 1 combined serving of fruits & vegetables - 3/4 from fruit juice, 1/4 from vegetable juice. Good source of antioxidant vitamins A, C & E. Good source of fiber. Best part? No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in 3 fruity flavors.

Rozoni Garden Delight Pasta: A delicious, healthy pasta providing a half serving of vegetables in every 2 oz portion.

Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws: The combination of potato, carrot, and spinach seasoned with a touch of salt and made in the shape of a crispy straw! 30% less fat than potato chips.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Toddler Girl Fashion: My 3 Year Old Dresses Better Than Me

A collection of the cutest and most stylish toddler girl fashion statements I've seen lately. Already picked up a new pair of brown boots for Paige's fall wardrobe. Now just need the cute clothes to go with them... ready, set, SHOP!

Disney Fan Mail: Have Your Child Send His or Her Favorite Disney Character a Letter and Get an Autographed Postcard in Return

Calling all Disney Princess fans!  Lightening McQueen and Tow Mader fans! Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans! A bit of scoop for you and your precious Disney-loving children: If your child writes his or her favorite Disney character a fan letter, he/she will receive an autographed postcard in return. SHUT. THE. FRONT. DOOR. How exciting would that be for a kid? To receive a real-life autographed postcard from Cinderella? Or Merida? Or Lightening McQueen? Or the big cheese himself, Mickey Mouse? If I did this for Paige and Deacon, I could very well become the best mom they've ever had ; ) So here's the addresses where you can send your child's "Disney Character Fan Mail":

Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040


Disneyland Resort, Guest Communications
Attn:  Character Fan Mail
PO Box 3232
Anaheim, CA 92803-3232

Note: Disney recommends allowing 4-6 weeks for a response. The characters are awful busy, after all!


Will this TV Season's New Character Names Influence Baby Names? Nameberry Thinks So! - the #1 source for all things Baby Names - thinks this year's Fall TV lineup has some fabulous baby names. My personal faves: Astrid, Lola, Violet, Sawyer (for a girl or boy!) and Dash. Paige and Deacon aren't named after TV characters, but Lenni Lulu (our pup) is named after the late, great Detective Lenny Briscoe from the ORIGINAL Law and Order. I've been told there are two TV characters named "Deacon" - one on King of Queens and one on Nashville. And of course Reese Witherspoon's son is named Deacon. But my husband chose that name LONG before he met me based on the best defensive end (football player) to ever live - Deacon Jones. Paige isn't named after anyone in particular, but her middle name - Karolina - is from my favorite fashion designer, Carolina Herrera. So what about you - is your little one named after a TV character? 

Posted by on September 25, 2013

The names of TV characters have had an influence on baby naming since the era of must-see daytime soaps and Dallas and Dynasty, and more recently we’ve seen the effect of the Mad Men midcentury matrix and individual names like Finn and Dexter and Addison and Aria and Arya taking hold.

Things are a little different now, with fewer people glued to their TV screens—or even their tablets or phones—to watch ‘appointment’ television.  And yet, with the new season beginning, I can’t help wondering if any of the more distinctive names of the characters on debuting shows might catch on.  The one freshman period program, Reign, offers some possibilities, as do The Originals—a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries and the sci-fi The Tomorrow People.

And with two hunky ex-models playing characters named Killian on two different new shows, I think I’d put my money on him.

So here are the promising names on new shows, bearing in mind that some of these series might be here today and gone tomorrow, and a lot also depends on the appeal of the character:

  • Astrid—a sympathetic and supportive (and attractive) character on the sci-fi show The Tomorrow People.
  • Aylee—one of several interestingly named and gorgeous ladies-in-waiting to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots,  in Reign, set in sixteenth century France.
  • Clarissa—a mysterious young woman in Reign, a name not new to TV.
  • Davinaa 16-year-old witch with a dark side in The Originals.
  • Freyaone of the young generation of witches in The Witches of East End.
  • Greersee Aylee—an Old Hollywood name beginning to be reconsidered.
  • Ingridsee Freyaanother Old Hollywood name, this one with a Nordic touch.
  • Kennasee Aylee—an original name with some potential as a successor to Jenna.
  • Lisettea non-Hispanic appellation for a Latina mom in Welcome to the Family.
  • Lolaone of Mary Stuart’s main ladies-in-waiting in Reign.
  • Luluan attractive ‘former trophy wife’ in Back in the Game.
  • Marikaone of Rebel Wilson’s nerdyish pals in Super Fun Night.
  • Samiraa second-generation Pakistani immigrant character who’s a talented musician, in Lucky 7.
  • Sandrinea character named Sandrine played by an actress named Sandrine—exotic model Sandrine Holt—in Hostages.
  • Sawyera little girl on Hostages—evidencing the growing gender-bending of the name. (Sara Gilbert and Diane Farr both have daughters named Sawyer).
  • Violetthe young daughter/granddaughter on Mom. A name everyone already loves.


  • AlaricIn The Originals, he’s a dishy vampire hunter who goes by the nickname Ric.
  • Archera somewhat intimidating ex-military guy in Hostages.
  • Baxtera typical TV ex-husband type on Mom.
  • Crawforda not very likable dad on Dads, played by Martin Mull.
  • Dashon The Witches of East End, yet another ex-model plays the brother of Killian.
  • Dudleyan appealingly awkward pre-teen on Back in the Game.
  • Duncanthe rogue FBI agent played by Dylan McDermott in Hostages.
  • Jedikiah—an unusual twist on an Old Testament name, worn by a fierce, shape-changing robot in The Tomorrow People.
  • Killianthe two groovy guys bearing this name are in The Tomorrow People and The Witches of East End.
  • Kives—an unexplained offbeat name for a somewhat obnoxious chick-magnet type in Hello Ladies.  Guess we’ll have to watch for an explanation.
  • Kramer—no, it’s not Cosmo Kramer but Kramer Delaney on Hostages.  Could Kramer be the next Cohen ?  Doubt it.
  • Roscoea cute Nameberry-named child on Mom (shown in illustration).
  • Thatcherwe may think of him as an up-and-coming baby boy name, but on Betrayal he’s an elderly father figure, just as Thatcher Grey was on Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Wadean LA-based best friend character on Hello Ladies.
  • Warnera successful video game developer played by Giovanni Ribisi on Dads.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pregnancy Calendar and Ancient Chinese Birth Chart PLUS Tips for Trying for a Specific Gender

Can an ancient Chinese calendar really predict the gender of your baby? Take American Baby's simple quiz and find out. The results could spill the beans about whether you're having a boy or girl!

Click HERE to start the quiz!

Back when I was prego, I relied on a few different methods to figure out if I was having a boy or a girl. First, was the old wives tales - - which were accurate - because less than 9 months later a baby girl popped out! And the second time around, here's what I used to figure out if baby #2 was a boy or a girl - Lo and behold, it was a boy! So do old wives tales and gender prediction charts really work? I'd say YES to the "beauty marks" because it happened with Paige but didn't happen to me while pregnant with Deacon. And KIND OF YES to the gender prediction charts - if you use the official one (like the link I have above) the results are pretty spot-on. The swinging ring over the belly? BIG FAT NO. Didn't work.

BUT - back when we were working on making baby #2, I did a bit of research and found out that there are some ways to tip the odds of one gender over another in your favor. And for us, it worked. Check out my "Trying For a Specific Gender?" post here:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Icky, Sticky Cavity Creep... Watch Out or It Will Get You! Let Doc Wellbee Help You Save Your Smile


October kicks off National Dental Hygiene Month. And in celebration, Doc Wellbee ( is partnering with Sweet Leigh Mama to offer readers an exclusive discount – Use code SLMSMILE25 at checkout  and receive 25% off a Doc Wellbee annual membership. Discount applies to memberships paid in full vs. via monthly installments. (exp. 10/31/13) (Note: Doc Wellbee plans currently available for Georgia residents; Memberships available nationwide starting October 1)

But I've got to be honest... I hate going to the dentist. There - I said it. I never had a bad experience. Didn't wake up in the middle of getting my wisdom teeth removed. Didn't even have a cavity until I was 16 years old. But I hate everything about the dentist, except, well... the dentist. My dentist and dental hygienist are awesome! Doc Wellbee ( shared a study with me recently that let me know I wasn't alone in my fears.
According to the study, the top two reasons people avoid the dentist are 1) Fear of discovering a major dental problem and 2) Fear of the bill after the visit. DING DING DING! That's me. The idea that something could be wrong with my teeth is reason enough for me to avoid the dentist. Then, the thought of the ridiculous dental bill on top of getting bad news? No thanks. I'll go step on the scale if I want to get bad news AND see ridiculously high numbers ; )
So… when was your last dental visit? The average American waits three years between going to the dentist. Sounds about right... that is until my husband started making my dentist appointments 6 months ahead of time. Thanks babe. 'ppreciate that. (How about being that proactive with doing the dishes or laundry?!)

Anywho... Back to Doc Wellbee ( and the info they enlightened me on. Ends up the longer you wait between going to the dentist, the worse a case of dental decay you may be facing. Plus, the huge bill you'll encounter to fix the decay you waited WAY to long to take care of. Doc Wellbee ( calls this "Cavity Creep".
News flash mamas: cavities don't disappear. And not only that - a tiny cavity can quickly eat through multiple layers of your tooth, leaving you with a massive infection. Every person's situation is different, but for many of us a cavity won't stay just a cavity for long. Like a rotten spot on an apple - leave it long enough and it gets deeper and deeper until the entire apple is rotten and needs to be thrown out. Except it's not so easy to throw out a tooth. It's called an extraction - followed by an implant. Nice. 

“But I brush and floss like a champ!” you’re probably thinking. Sorry to say, but Doc Wellbee told me that even the best at-home brushing and flossing routine isn’t enough to keep your mouth free of decay-causing plaque and tarter. It’s vital you catch and treat decay early – and the only way to do that is through regular check-ups, cleanings and x-rays. Without regular visits to the dentist, you can expect a costly visit from the “Cavity Creep.”  
What is Cavity Creep? To put it simply, as dental decay progresses, the cost to repair the damage increases… dramatically.  Maintaining good oral hygiene with regular dental visits catches decay early on, keeping a small cavity and filling ($195) from turning into a major dental issue requiring a crown ($1,200), root canal ($2,000) or even a full tooth extraction and implant ($3,000+)! 
Curing dental bills?  The only way to lower your dental bills long term is through prevention. Bottom line - go to the dentist for regular exams and cleanings, catch any decay early, and keep your teeth (and wallet) happy.
Doc Wellbee can help you out by lessening the blow of dental bills TODAY. Doc Wellbee is a dental discount program which operates much like a members-only warehouse club. Consumers pay an annual membership fee for access to pre-negotiated, reduced rates with thousands of top-quality dentists and specialists. Friendlier than traditional dental insurance, there are no coverage limits, claims or waiting periods with Doc Wellbee. Members pay their dentist directly and receive a substantial discount on virtually any dental procedure – from routine exams to root canals, crowns and implants.  Even orthodontics!  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Check it out! Doc McStuffins Party Pack

The reason I love Etsy so much is that I can constantly add new items to my store - Sweet Leigh Mama. What ever I dream up, I can add it. And if it doesn't sell? There's not really a loss (except for my time and effort). I love creating custom invitations for my kids' birthday parties, and I put  a lot of time into creating custom graphics to match the theme... and it only just struck me that maybe I could sell these graphics to other DIY mamas : ) So here is my first "Party Pack" - Doc McStuffins, of course!

I recreated each of her most recognizable tools - like the Band Aid, her Doctor's Bag and the Stethoscope. I didn't steal them off of the internet, but actually recreated them (with my own twist) using Photoshop. Phew! Hard work, but I think they look pretty awesome! Check out everything I created below (or click here to view it on Etsy):

Doc McStuffins-Inspired Band Aid and Stethoscope

Doc McStuffins-Inspired Doctor's Bag

Doc McStuffins Party Pack - 12 Digital Papers PLUS 7 Customizeable Clip Art Images AND Happy Birthday in Doc Fonts and Colors

Doc McStuffins-Inspired Digital Paper Pack

Next up... Pinkalicious. Because Paige just can't decide the theme for her next birthday : )

Probably going to build Party Packs for each of these too, since I already spent the time creating the invites the past few birthdays and parties!

Cars - Lightening McQueen and Mader

Bridal Shower Invite